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Day twenty two
Madoka Magica Piano Medley
I don't tend to tell too many people that I'm a fan of Madoka. The bright pink "magical girl" (Google "Madoka Magica") looks about as childish and girly as it is possible to be. Those who dismissed the animé as dumb (probably thinking it was fluff along the lines of Tokyo Mew Mew) missed out on something great. Those who gave the series the standard "three episode" test... well, what can I say? Episode one is cliché fluff with some touches of weirdness (Madoka's unique style) leading to episode two being a bit "hang on, what?", and it's episode three that will tear your heart out and kick it around the room.
Yes. Madoka is a magical girl. A bright pink one. Dripping with cute. With colour-coded friends. Just look at the picture above.
Only...this isn't some idyllic magic-wand-waving series, this is a class act deconstruction of the genre - to take the concept of a magical girl and play it dead serious. And as for the ending, I damn near cried. No spoilers.
Apart from the characterisation, two things stand out strongly in Madoka. The first, the art style. The 'normal' world is a standard sort of drawn world as you would expect in animé with pastel colours and a slightly unusual face design, all of which is drawn so "cute" it is leaning far into saccharin-shock. The 'magical' world looks like it is a blend of that and what looks like stop-motion from whatever was in the director's desk drawer plus a big dose of psychedelic WTF thrown in for good measure. The seconf notable thing is Yuki Kajiura's outstanding soundtrack (along with Kalafina).
Which brings us to this. A piano arrangement put together and performed by Animenz. Animenz is... how can I say this? If I was to describe him as "a pianist", then by comparison pretty much everybody else would be lamely banging on a glockenspiel. I mean, just watch this performance. It gets insane at the three minute mark, and there's just no describing from the six minute mark (although you'll need to have seen the series to understand why). This is a performance that manages to distill the feels of the Madoka series into a compact seven minutes of pure epic. Really, really, I want to rummage around my harddisc and watch this series again now.
Even if you don't know the series, please enjoy this...
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Last read at 00:50 on 2021/10/23.
© 2014 Rick Murray
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